March 1, 2012

Number of protective orders doubled in Rowan County over past decade

Some really good advice here; get a safety plan together before leaving a domestic violence situation and filing for a protective order.  Let’s face it, an abuser receiving this information is going to get pissed, and that’s bad news for a domestic violence victim.  A protective order does not stop a bullet, does not stop a stabbing, does not stop an abuser from stalking/harassing a victim, or wheedling their way through being able to do whatever they can without getting locked up.  This is where it is very important that the Victim plays a huge roll in their own protection.  Only the victim knows the abuser well enough to know what steps need to be taken to stay safe, and talking it through with a domestic violence advocate just could save their lives.

I do have to say one thing about it being said that victims don’t go to court because they don’t want to air out what’s going on in front of the judge and an audience of people.  This may be true to some extent, yet I feel that more so Victims have been so demoralized that they aren’t sure they’ll be listened too, or start thinking that what’s going on just isn’t bad enough to say to a judge or go through a court hearing.  That and the fear of all of this goes with this, and this is why it’s so important for Domestic Violence Advocates to work with the victims and help them through the court process.  This is a very scary and traumatizing time for a victim, although it is widely looked at as something simple or easy to do.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

By Nathan Hardin

Nearly 600 Rowan County women filed for domestic violence protections orders in 2011, telling judges they feared for their lives and the lives of their children.

The number of protective orders doubled over the last 10 years, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

So did the number of reported female assaults.

Trina Baldwin, court advocate for the Family Crisis Council of Rowan County, said filing 50-Bs “depends on the situation.”

“Just as leaving an abuser can escalate the danger for a victim, so can filing a protective order,” Baldwin said. “If a person is not sure what is the best method of seeking help, then they should contact a domestic violence agency for advocacy, counseling and support.”

Domestic violence victims can fill out 50-B forms for free at the courthouse. Unlike some other counties in the state, protective orders cannot be filed at the Magistrate’s Office and have to be submitted during the week in the civil clerk of court’s office.

Baldwin said victims looking to file protective orders should create safety plans first because leaving domestic violence situations is dangerous.

Kesha Bennette, a domestic violence clerk at the Rowan County courthouse, said photos, text or Facebook messages or recordings can help victims obtain a 50-B.

“It’s just a burden of proof,” she said.

But Bennette said some victims don’t go through with restraining orders when they find out a court appearance is necessary.

“They actually have to come to court to get it,” Bennette said. “A lot of people don’t like having to air out what happened to the judge in front of an audience full of people,” Bennette said.

Victims can contact the Family Crisis Council of Rowan County for help filling out 50-B requests at the courthouse. Contact the 24-hour crisis line at 704-636-4718.

Original Article

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